Horror movies are a great way to diversify.
The horror genre is one in which a lot of people of color have been seen to die often and frequently over the years to further a plot, and while it does still happen, the issue is being settled slowly but surely as the horror movies that have come out over the past several decades have shown people of color surviving far more and making more intelligent decisions as characters. This means that the writers of the scripts are seeing more value in keeping said characters alive for one reason or another. The result has been that people of color have been seen to take on several more prominent roles in the movies and, in the horror genre, have taken on greater and greater roles that have managed to entertain a lot of fans over the years.
The old joke of ‘the black guy doesn’t die in this movie’ has been proven wrong time and time again now, and while deaths do still occur in horror movies, they’re often the result of poor choices given to the character to make or plot devices to further the story. Sometimes such deaths are often needed to push things forward and give the protagonists a reason to fight, to survive, and to struggle against the antagonists. But seeing people of color take charge in horror movies is great since it shows that movie protagonists are incredibly diverse and can come from just about any walk of life imaginable.
Even better is the idea that the protagonist can be someone that might appear less than capable of rising to the challenge due to their station in life or because they don’t have a lot of options open to them. But when talking about people of color in horror movies it’s great to see folks take charge because, well, it’s fun to see someone other than a white male that can kick ass take on the bad guy since it’s inspirational and validates the idea that anyone can stand up for themselves no matter what’s thrown at them. In a horror movie, that’s kind of a prerequisite.
Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight-Jada Pinkett-Smith
This movie wasn’t too bad despite the fact that it’s been mostly forgotten by just about everyone except those that watched it. To be fair it wasn’t that surprising that Jada became such a big part of the movie, but it’s always wise to avoid thinking that a person might be more important than they really are, since in a horror movie there are plenty of directors that might snuff a character without warning.
The fact that she became another wanderer, destined to keep the artifact in the movie from falling into the wrong hands, shows that she had an iron will that didn’t really match up with her circumstances. But the development of her character was fun to watch since she went from being a young woman with an attitude to a young woman with an attitude and a massive responsibility that she was bound to take seriously.
There are a lot of things that one can say about Blade, since he’s a big action star as well as a part of the horror genre for Marvel comics. But on top of that, he’s a powerhouse on the street level since the enhanced strength, speed, and ferocity that he brings to the screen is impressive given that he’s not exactly someone that a lot of people knew that much about before he was put on the big screen. But bringing this character to the movies was great since it allowed people to witness a powerful and controlled character that wasn’t entirely good but definitely wasn’t evil.
Blade is coming back to the MCU with Mahershala Ali playing the titular role, but the fact that Ali has gained the approval of Snipes, the first man to take on the role, is huge. Plus, it’s also nice to note that Blade isn’t such an unstoppable juggernaut that he can walk through anything without taking his lumps. Of course, if the bad guys want to give him a way to recover then it’s not his fault that he runs through them when he’s rejuvenated.
Event Horizon-Laurence Fishburne
I have to admit that Captain Miller is one of my favorite characters on this list since the guy is a stand-up individual through and through. He’s a bit strict and definitely demands a lot, but that’s because his job is one that doesn’t forgive a lot of mistakes, nor is he the type that’s ready to lose his people to a fault that could have been prevented. That’s likely why he’s such a hardass in this movie, since he doesn’t care for traipsing through space after something he knows next to nothing about.
Give Miller a lot of credit though, since he goes out in a fashion that’s kind of like spitting in the eye of the enemy as Weir doesn’t get to collect all of the crew for their trip back into whatever hellish world that the gave birth to the life that infected and suffused the Event Horizon.
As the only real antagonist on this list, Bones is still a guy that was wronged when he was alive and has a reason for coming back to gain revenge. Admittedly he does have a weakness, the woman he loved in his former life. But when Bones returns to life he does so with a vengeance that makes it clear he’s not coming back to party or even return the neighborhood he loved to the status quo. The fact that the movie shows flashes of a happier time, when the streets were bustling with people and were prosperous, is kind of a saddening note to this horror story.
But watching Bones get back at those that wronged him is kind of satisfying since the way he goes about it is so bizarre that one can either scream or laugh, since anything in-between is tough to reconcile given that there aren’t really any innocent individuals in this story, at least none that are seen to get directly involved.
If ever there was a movie made about gaslighting, this was it, since Miranda has to go through hell in order to get to the bottom of how she ended up in prison for a murder she can’t remember committing. But the fact that she keeps her wits about her at all in this movie is something that makes a person realize that gaslighting is, for all intents and purposes, a weakness as much as a useful tool of those that don’t want to own up to the things they’ve done or said. The fact that her husband and the cop were such d-bags is enough to make a person say ‘damn’, but her actions and reactions through this movie were great.
Hey, it’s Halle Berry, she doesn’t make a bad movie that often.
Aliens vs. Predator-Sanaa Lathan
This movie didn’t get a lot of love, and there are likely several reasons why. When every Predator and Alien movie before this one were violent as hell and showed a good deal of gore, this one went the kiddie route and cut down quite a bit, which is one of the reasons why it wasn’t all that respected. But Sanaa’s character was one to watch since she managed to come in and act like a calm and cool badass right up until she and the others were trapped by the predators and hunted by the xenomorphs.
It was pretty cool to realize that she was the one that kept her head the most since she figured out that the predators needed their weapons in order to kill the xenomorphs. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and all that.
Dawn of the Dead-Ving Rhames
Ving Rhames was by far one of the strongest characters in this remake since he was the type to take charge after realizing that going on his own wouldn’t have been a great idea. Plus, when it came to killing zombies he was one of the best at it since his status as a cop gave him the training and the experience in handling firearms. It was kind of sad to think that he had to kill the only guy that he’d come to respect during the apocalypse, but the story was still interesting to watch since he put in a great performance in a movie that a lot of people were excited about initially but have been badmouthing for years.
Remake or not, this movie was actually pretty cool since watching the zombies actually run toward their prey gave off a very “HELL NO” vibe.
Playing the part of Danny, Ice Cube manages to do his part in this schlocky horror movie that, not surprisingly, spawned sequels that have been largely ignored by a lot of people. But the initial movie was something to watch since it had a few big-name stars in it, including Ice Cube. The thought of a massive anaconda trying to kill the entire crew and being coveted by a poacher with a bad accent is enough to make the claim that this was a rather insane horror movie, but what was really cool is that near the end Danny came through in the clutch, saving the survivors in a manner that might be kind of funny to think about.
Ice Cube has been a pretty decent to great actor over the years, but this was one of the movies in which he was really starting to step up his game in the acting world.
It doesn’t really matter what type of movie Morgan Freeman is in, just listening to his voice is relaxing on so many levels. But his role in Seven as Somerset was great since he was the type of guy that had seen a lot and grown tired of it after a while. Setting him up with a hothead like Mills was great but also kind of infuriating since no matter which one of the detectives people liked more, they were bound to be irritated by the actions and demeanor of the other since Mills and Somerset were very different people. Where Mills wanted to charge in and solve the case, Somerset was willing to take his time and collect as much evidence as was needed to make things make sense.
In other words, Somerset thought like a detective while Mills thought like a rookie cop that was wanting to save the world each day.
As person that’s skilled at empathy in this movie, Forest Whitaker almost felt as though he’d been miscast, since he could have done a lot more really. But he played his part just like he plays any other role, which is to say that he was convincing and managed to be a part of the team, and more importantly, a part of the team that knew when to hang back and when to let his talents be put to use.
WTR? (Why’s That Radass?)
Seeing diversity happen in the movies is great since it creates a much more realistic world than might be seen without tapping into this kind of talent. Putting people of color in lead roles, or as people of importance, is great since it reminds folks that protagonists can come from anywhere.